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Court reserves bail ruling for protesters

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By Samuel Kalimira:

Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrates Court has reserved its ruling in a case involving 19 people who are suspected to have perpetrated violence during last week’s demonstrations in Karonga District.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charge and applied for bail. The court is yet to make a ruling on bail application.

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During the bail hearing, the State led by Northern Regional Prosecution Inspector, Bet Msowoya, asked the court to transfer the case to Karonga saying most of the witnesses are not in Mzuzu.

Appearing before Senior Magistrate, Peter Kandulu, Msowoya pleaded with the court not to grant the suspects bail arguing that doing so might jeorpadise the case.

“Therefore, the magistrate has said he will communicate to us if they are to be granted bail and the dates of commencement of hearing of the case,” said Msowoya after the court session.

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It is alleged that the suspects destroyed Karonga Police Station offices and looted shops at the Boma before engaging in running battles with Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force officers on Wednesday evening.

The police later arrested 20 suspects linked to the violence in Karonga, three in Rumphi District and two in Mzuzu.

HRDC has been disowning protesters who propagate violence during demonstrations.

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